Postcard from Lecce, Italy: Evening prowling recommended

We arrived at the train station in Lecce about 8 p.m. and walked to the place we were staying less than a mile away. The streets were softly illuminated to highlight the historic center’s Baroque architecture, and everything seemed as gentle as a whisper after the ever-present bustling hubbub of Naples.

We stayed in Lecce around the beginning of November, past the high tourist season so almost the only people around were locals. The narrow streets and limited parking discourage automobiles from entering the historic center enclosed by ancient limestone walls. Weeknights were fairly calm, but the town always turned out in full force for the traditional weekend night passeggiata, a relaxing evening stroll. Young people filled the cafes and bars later, but most of the streetscapes were as soothing as these photographs.

Lecce is located in the heel of Italy’s boot in the state of Puglia, or Apulia.

Postcard from Naples, Italy: Final reflections

Leaving you with a grab-bag of images from our month in the third largest city in Italy. Views of the bay. Sea cats. Reflections in windows. And somehow lots of shoes.

The blog is now departing Campania on the top front of the boot to a spot closer to the heel – Lecce in the state of Puglia.

Postcard from Naples, Italy: Snippets shot in final four museums

Detail of “The Devil and the Holy Water,” Salvatore Postiglione, 1887, Gallerie d’Italia – Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano

Inartistically and illogically clumping works from four museums in this one post – 15th-century religious paintings, a Joan Miro retrospective, a house museum, contemporary art. The museums are getting short shrift in treatment because they are the final ones the blog will visit in Naples before moving across the boot of Italy. The grouping does offer a glimpse of how diverse and rich the art offerings found in Naples are.

As is oft the case, our camera lens seems to often focus on the devils lurking in religious art, but what dark thoughts were in the mind of Neapolitan painter Salvatore Postiglione when he conceived of “The Devil and the Holy Water” are unclear to me.

I never had thought of holy water as dangerous before. But, indeed in hindsight, it should have been obvious that the Coronavirus devil was lurking in fonts at the front of Catholic churches everywhere. Catholics always pause to dip their fingers in the communal pool of water and immediately raise them up to touch their face to make a gesture symbolizing the Holy Trinity and baptism.

March brought the draining of the fonts, but how many viral contaminants were shared by the faithful by then? So very, very sad to think of those who might have been harmed by turning to their religious rituals for reassuring comfort….